I don’t know a lot about art. Yes, I made an A in art history in college and I know what I like to look at, but I don’t know much about the technical details of art, and I really am not sure about how to teach it.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about teaching the how-tos of art. If my children don’t exhibit a natural affinity for creating a particular form of art, should I really make them do it? My seven year old has been visiting museums his entire life and considers a museum visit a perfectly acceptable way to pass the morning. Is it enough that he appreciates it, or does he need to try it out, too?
I’ve erred on the side of caution and I’m having him give different kinds of artwork a try. After all, if he doesn’t try it, how will he know he doesn’t like it? Maybe we’ll stumble upon something new and exciting! But back to the problem: I don’t know a lot about art.
Thankfully, I do know about the internet. I’ve subscribed to Kathy Barbro’s popular Art Projects for Kids blog for a couple of years, but just recently has my son been old enough to really try out and enjoy the projects. This year we’ve started artist studies, so when we focused on Picasso, we tried out Kathy’s How to Draw a Cubist Portrait project. It was fabulous! She gives step by step instructions that are easy to follow and I worked alongside my son to give him another example. We had a great time and we were both really impressed with our final products. (You can check out all the Picasso activities we did here!)
Perhaps my son and I are not destined to become famous Cubists, but we gave something new a try and enjoyed ourselves. If you’re looking for a supplement to a unit on an artist, seasonal artwork, or just something fun to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon, you should give Art Projects for Kids a try!